Top 10 Resorts for Christmas
If you are looking to go skiing for Christmas then you might want to make sure there'll be snow. Unfortunately a high percentage of resorts may well not have a major snow fall until January; meaning you'd be better off on your nearest dry slope. So to make sure you have all the snow you need and a great Christmas experience we suggest you hit one of our top ten resorts.
10. Zakopane, Poland
(The beginner part of the resort - discoverzakopane.com)
With four different sections, Zakopane is one of the best laid out resorts in Poland with massive areas dedicated to every ski and snowboarding ability. The Nosal ski centre is designed perfectly for beginners while confident skiers can go to Kasprowry Wierch which has great pistes for the advanced. Poland, compared to most other European ski destinations, is relatively cheap with a five day ticket including all equipment, lift passes, teaching and hotel accommodation coming in at just £435 per person. Merry Christmas indeed.
9. Waidring, Austria & Reit im Winkl, Germany
(one side of the Steinplatte - hotel-r.net/at/steinplatte)
Why settle for just one country when you could have two! The Steinplatte Mountain sits on the Austrian-Germany boarder and is a picturesque ski resort with two gondolas and nine chairlifts across both sides of the resort. The beautiful Tirol region of Austria is steeped in snow covered houses and food in the restaurants on and off the slopes is stunning. At under 2000m there may not be as much snow in December as you would see in January but nevertheless the resort is a perfect retreat for beginner couples or families.
8. Yabuli, China
(the top of Yabuli - harbinice.com)
Forget laying out the cookies and milk at home and jet off to China for a fantastic ski holiday! Make your Christmas a bit different and see the holiday through another country’s eyes and by all means enjoy some snow while you’re at it. The Yabuli ski resort in north China is the best and biggest in the country. While you are skiing or boarding down one of the nine intermediate slopes, the 5km Nordic trial or the 500 metre beginner section, you can look out for members of the Chinese Olympic team who train on the hardcore section of the piste.
7. Cervinia, Italy & Zermatt, Switzerland
(One of the slopes at the top of Cervinia - The Guardian)
Again, two countries is better than one right? The Breuil Cervinia Valtournenche Zermatt area is one of the largest in the Alps which stretches through three valleys and across two countries. So you can take your pick of whether you want to spend Christmas in Italy or Switzerland while taking to the slopes to visit the other. All-inclusive packages are offered by hotels such as Club Med resort in Cervinia which includes a seven night stay with ski hire, lift pass, bus shuttle, ski school and après ski activities, all for £943 per person.
6. Obergurgl, Austria
(Hochgurgl, the higher mountain - www.crystalski.co.uk)
‘The diamond in the Alps’ is the other name Obergurgl goes by and rightly so. If you want a traditional Austrian Christmas then turn your back on the rain, plastic trees and the chaos that clouds Christmas day in the UK and come experience a real winter wonderland. An ideal destination for families with plenty of beginner and intermediate slopes along with family orientated après ski. Situated in the Oztal valley, it is one of the highest resorts in Austria with guaranteed snow and stunning hotels to keep you warm and cosy with a gluhwein in your hand.
5. Vail, USA
(The bottom of Vail valley - forbes.com)
If you want the whole Christmas experience then jump on a plane to the US of A, because they know how to do it right. More precisely Vail in the state of Colorado, home to an exclusive ski resort, with fine dining, top hotels and amazing shopping centres, is a holiday for the whole family. Vail Mountain boasts one of the largest ski areas in the world and this town will give you a Christmas you will never forget. Shows and spectacles aplenty and a traditional American Christmas dinner extravaganza awaits on Christmas day.
4. Mt. Baker, USA
(Make your own way down - by S. Matera, materaphoto.com)
For all those avid boarders out there we haven’t forgotten you; as staying in the Mt. Baker resort in Washington is the holy grail of snowboarding. The mountain itself can be your Christmas present, with some of the best off-piste conditions in the world, it is well known for deep snow and steep terrain. The chairlifts will take you up but you have to find your own way down, many choosing their own routes through the powder rather than sticking to the marked runs. The actual resort has a host of beautiful chalets and hotels but this is a definitely a place for boarding nuts.
3. Whistler, Canada
Cosy cabin in the B.C. snow - britishcolumbia.com)
The two peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain which overlook the Canadian north-west are linked with a spectacular gondola, and underneath is some of the best ski conditions you are likely to find. With a mix of chalet style houses, inns, lodges and cabins it is the perfect place to get away from it all. Spend Christmas in a wooden cabin next to a log fire while your ski gear dries underneath the stockings. With accommodation from as low as £45 a night it is as easily affordable as romantic a getaway in the snowy Canadian mountains. You may need to dig deep for the flight over but it promises to be a special Christmas for the skiing couple.
2. Voss, Norway
(Fancy some free water - visitnorway.com)
No not the water! although this is indeed where the fancy, glass bottled water comes from, and the price of the Norwegian water is echoed by the cost of living in Norway. Yet with an average of 5.4 meters snow fall per year it is the ideal powder snow destination and this more than makes up for the cost. Whatever your budget you will definitely be getting your money’s worth with luxury hotels and picture worthy moments. The Skarsnuten Hotel starting price is £1130 per person for seven nights including flights from London. Voss also has outstanding ski touring runs through the forests for those who like touring or want to have a change from downhill skis and boards.
1. Val Thorens, France
(Val Thorens at Christmas - www.skiworld.co.uk)
Situated in the French Alps, Val Thorens is the highest ski resort base in Europe at 2300m with the highest lift going up as far as 3230m, so you are more or less guaranteed snow on Christmas day. It is also part of the infamous 3 valleys - the largest ski area in the world with 600km of ski slopes for you to enjoy during your stay; there’s no danger of being bored! Val Thorens offers several five star hotels if you like to celebrate your Christmas in luxury or if you are there purely for the skiing then there are also many cheaper hotels and hostels all minutes away from the lifts.